Residential rooftop solar options?

rooftop solar panels

Mary messages:

I am thinking of going solar on my home... do you have any information on which company, or companies, offer the best deals and have proven most reliable in the Albany area?

We're very curious to hear people's thoughts and suggestions on this question. The rooftop solar industry has been booming recently thanks in large part to a steep drop in the price solar panels. And just anecdotally, we've noticed panels showing up on a bunch of local houses and businesses.

There seem to be roughly two models for getting panels on a house: buy the panels outright and have the installed -- or pay little or nothing upfront for installation, and then buy the power from the panels at a fixed rate from the installing company.

So, experiences or thoughts for Mary? Please share!

Comments

We talked with Solar City; while we eventually determined that our site was not suitable for solar at the moment (though I'm hoping that improvements in efficiency will change that in a few years), I was favorably impressed with the knowledge and straightforwardness of the folks I spoke to there, including the person who came by and evaluated our roof. We looked at both roof- and ground-mounted options.

Either way, you pay... Best to wait.

I have too many old trees blocking my roof, but http://xtroy.org/solarize/
had some great information.

I've heard good things about Monolith - which has their solar infrastructure on many schools and fire departments in the area. Also, with Troy city councilman Rodney Wiltshire's Empire Solar Store.
http://www.empiresolarstore.com/

Monolith Solar is pretty good; I'd give them a shout to see what they have to offer.

There are lots of things to consider when weighing out the decision to go solar. Lease vs. Purchasing. Economically speaking.. in NY. Right Now. It makes most sense to purchase if you have a tax appetite. Between the NYSERDA rebate and the state and local tax credits. You can own a system with no money down and have a fixed cost for electricity lower than what you are paying now. Leasing is great for those that don't have taxable income. (Seniors, Self Employed, ect.)

Try High Peaks Solar of Troy - Kevin Bailey is the owner. He is an honest guy and will tell you whether you have the right conditions for solar panels. He will also analyze your utility bill and let you know how much you could save!

My advice is not to wait, since the NYSERDA rebate is rumored to get reduced again. If you wait, you may miss out on the maximum rebates... There are different Solarize volunteer groups that are meeting all over the capital region. I suggest finding out more from a group of volunteers, such as xtroy.org/solarize to see what their thoughts are.

My very trustworthy, skilled, and knowledgeable neighbor works for Empire Solar Store and has for a handful of years and he seems to like them.

You might want to check out this small but very techy festival in Vermont - combines fest music & crafts with hands-on workshops (free with admission) on alternative energy install & other interesting stuff.
http://www.solarfest.org/

We purchased a ground-mounted system from Hudson Solar (http://hvce.com/) but they also sell and lease roof-mounted systems. Their work is very professional and thorough and they helped us sort out the paperwork for the NYSERDA and tax rebates/credits. They also sent their rep to three separate planning board meetings with our town in order to answer technical questions from the board about the project.

We added a reporting system to our basic package and we like that because we can see how we're doing whenever we care to look.

Hudson Solar is one of the largest solar companies in the area with offices in Albany and Rhinebeck. They only use solar panels from reputable companies who have been in business a long time so you don't have to worry about the warranty not working out because the manufacturer is no longer in business.

Hope that helps!

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past week on AOA: + Daniel and the Best Dozen stopped in at Stewart's for donuts. + Christina... (more)

10x10: Casinos, John Oliver, new spots

A while back we did a thing where wrote 10 reviews/comments in no more than 10 words each. People seemed to like it, and it... (more)

Holiday gifts: Deanna Fox

Gifts and giving are on most everyone's mind this month. So we thought we'd ask a few people to share some thoughts on presents, past... (more)

NY Thruway Guide

Might be worth a look: NY Thruway Guide, an iPhone app that's pretty much what it sounds like. It provides access to the lineup of... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

There's lots going on the the Capital Region this weekend -- both holiday and non-holiday. So if you're looking to take a break from all... (more)

Recent Comments

... I tend to ask questions that make the person think about what they just said. I ask it sweetly and in a tone that notes confusion on my part. I have been called honey in the office and asked the person, " Can I ask what you mean when you call me honey? Because you don't call John honey." It calls out that he's treating you differently for being a woman. If he still doesn't get it, you can be more direct: "I appreciate that you respect my work and treat me equally, but I wouldn't want others to think otherwise based on how you address me."

Local food gifts

...has 10 comments, most recently from Carolyn

Capital Region high school graduation rates 2014

...has 2 comments, most recently from Greg

NY Thruway Guide

...has 1 comment, most recently from Rob

Good neighborhood holiday light displays?

...has 4 comments, most recently from MikeH

Where to get latkes?

...has 14 comments, most recently from Susan Anthony Brownell